A questionnaire survey was conducted to examine whether risk factors and allergic rhinitis (AR)-related quality of life (QOL) were different among children with different seasonal patterns of AR. Participants were students enrolled in elementary and middle schools in Taipei County, Taiwan. Using moving average and principal component analysis, children with current AR were grouped by attack seasons. The effects of personal and environmental factors on AR seasonality were assessed by logistic regression models. AR severity and AR-related QOL were compared within AR seasonal subtypes.
Among 4221 children who completed the questionnaire, 1144 and 1605 children were current AR cases and healthy controls, respectively. Four AR subtypes were categorised as follows: perennial, spring, summer/fall, and winter. Age, gender, parental education, maternal passive smoking during pregnancy, breast feeding, and mouldy walls were found to contribute differentially to different AR subtypes. Children suffering from perennial and winter AR were found to have more severe symptoms and significantly lower QOL score compared with other subtypes. Specific personal and environmental risk factors could contribute to different AR seasonal subtypes. Active allergen avoidance and symptomatic treatment should be the focus of management aiming to improve the QOL among children with perennial and winter subtype.